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Pelargonium cotyledonis (Old Father Live Forever)

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Scientific Name

Pelargonium cotyledonis (L.) L'Hér.

Common Names

Old Father Live Forever, Hollyhock-leaved Pelargonium

Synonyms

Erodium sempervivum, Geranium cotyledonis, Isopetalum cotyledonis, Pelargonium cotyledon, Pelargonium cotyledonifolium

Scientific Classification

Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Pelargonium

Description

Pelargonium cotyledonis is a perennial, sparsely branched succulent up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. For most of the year is leafless, producing in summer a loose rosette of orbicular leaves up to 2 inches (5 cm) long on stalks up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long. In the center of the rosette is borne a slender scape up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, bearing loose branched umbels of flowers. The leathery, prominently-veined leaves and the regular, pure white flowers distinguish this species from all others.

Photo via sem.fixa.jp

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Most Pelargoniums are grown in pots in a green house or conservatory. They can also be grown inside the house, but need to be in the most sunniest area possible. Many species do well when they are planted outside in an open area, so that they can become larger plants. This can be a problem though if you want to replant them in a pot for the winter months. Cuttings can be taken in the summer time instead to make new plants.

Succulent species grow well with other succulents and cacti. Pelargonium are very attractive and one of the toughest and most durable succulents.

Pelargoniums main requirement is a warm, sunny, sheltered location. Many species will tolerate drought conditions for short periods. They will show you when they wants water by producing a crop of new leaves, almost all species are winter growers. After the summer you can wait until the plant begins to grow, but you can also give them lights spryings or shower to stimulate their growth. When they are in full leaves they like water, but as always keep the soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering can cause unnatural growth… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Pelargonium

Origin

Pelargonium cotyledonis is an endemic on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

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